Welcome Home, Nikki Newman

by | December 12, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Deep Soap

Melody Thomas Scott on The Young & The Restless (CBS)

Melody Thomas Scott on The Young & The Restless (CBS)

Nikki Newman Makes Everything Better

Can the presence of one character really change a soap? Yes, if that characters is “The Young & the Restless’s” Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott). The show has been much improved since she returned to Genoa City, drunk as a skunk, and convinced she murdered Diane. The audience knows she is, in all probability, not guilty. The safe bet is that the killer is Patty (Stacy Haiduk), who pretended to be her lookalike Dr. Emily and forged a prescription for the muscle paralyzing drug that was given to Diane before she was killed. But Victor (Eric Braeden)decided to confess to the crime to protect Nikki, in a blatant attempt to redeem the character for letting Sharon (Sharon Case) rot in prison for months and keeping Billy (Billy Miller) away from his daughter while she was undergoing cancer treatments. Deacon (Sean Kanan) has his own plans for Nikki: blackmailing her into marrying him by threatening to tell the police that Victoria helped Nikki kill Diane , both for money and for lust.l It’s a lot more interesting than Avery’s (Jessica Collins) poorly defined rivalry with Phyllis (Michelle Stafford).

Friday, Y&R got experimental with an episode that ran backwards chronologically, beginning with Nikki and Deacon reciting their vows, as well as several other obvious time jumps from the prior episodes, and returning from each commercial break with a title card explaining how much earlier it was than the last sequence.

It was a gimmick, but it was interesting. I always applaud when a soap dares to try something new. Some of the revelations were not that shocking. Seeing Victor talking to Victoria and Sharon about his plight before watching him frame himself by getting his fingerprints all over the syringe that was found in his safe was a yawner. It’s not as though a single viewer believes that Victor is going to spend the rest of his life in prison, so this plot twist has zero suspense. All it accomplishes is making the Genoa City police force as inept and incompetent as Port Charles’s.

However, Nikki and Deacon remain, for me, pure gold. Picking up right where they left off before Scott’s lengthy hiatus. the actors have chemistry to spare. While Nikki and Victor are the show’s franchise couple, and I know that I am supposed to root for their reunion, Nikki and Deacon are the ones with an untold story. The audience knows that Deacon has sincere feelings for Nikki, even though that will not stop him from lying to her or blackmailing her. Nikki, when sober, can be relaxed and confident around Deacon in the way that she can’t around the hypercritical Victor. Nikki drinking her way through the hotel’s mini-bar to get through her marriage ceremony was darkly hilarious. I want to see this become a classic storyline of forced marriage blossoming into true love, though I doubt that’s way this is going to play out. Welcome home, Nikki Newman Sharpe. Never, ever leave again,

Fashion Off

Los Angeles is a major metropolitan area filled with successful professionals of all backgrounds. So why does “The Bold & the Beautiful” keep introducing poor, uneducated minority characters that need the rich, white characters to help them? Why are the show’s two professional minority characters, characters who theoretically interact with the Forresters and Spencers every day, so far on the backburner that they barely exist? Justin (Aaron D. Spears) and Donna’s (Jennifer Gareis) marriage broke up off-camera, even though the demise of the relationship of two high school sweethearts who had a child that they gave up for adoption then reconnected years later could have led to a lot of meaty relationship scenes. Justin is an executive at Spencer, but all he seems to do is listen to Bill talk about his problems. Marcus (Texas Battle) has a baby with Amber (Adrienne Frantz) and is dating Dayzee (Kristolyn Lloyd), but he does nothing but provide expository dialogue about Forrester Enterprises. Apparently, Marcus and Dayzee — who began her tenure on the show as a homeless person that needed Stephanie to donate a cafe to her so she could realize her dream of opening a restaurant that would serve the community — never have any interesting conversations.

Now, B&B has introduced a new Hispanic character, Beverly (Gina Rodriguez). She is a foster child who has aged out of care and is now dirt poor and unable to afford college. She oohs and ahhs at the Forrester gowns like she’s the Little Match Girl. She has such low self-esteem that she almost turned down an internship at Forrester because she did not think she would be able to handle the workload. Now she is wrongly suspected of selling the latest Forrester designs to Jackie M because Hope caught her photographing the dresses. Poor, stupid, victimized Beverly. While Beverly is arguably a realistic portrait of a foster child who has been kicked around by the system, it’s disappointing that this is the only Latino character on a show set in Los Angeles’s fashion industry. Why not a Latino designer or model? I would have loved it if there were a twist, and Beverly were actually a wealthy young woman who had disguised herself as a poor foster kid to ingratiate herself with the Forresters so she could steal their trade secrets for her own fashion line. Instead, we are going to get a story about Beverly being wrongly accused of a design theft committed by Pam. A show with as strong of an international following as B&B should let characters of all backgrounds join in the campy, wealthy, borderline incestuous fun.

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